A Beginner's Guide to Wholesale Sales

Lesson 6/15 - Can You Have 100 Pieces Ready By Next Week?


A Beginner's Guide to Wholesale Sales


Lesson Info

Can You Have 100 Pieces Ready By Next Week?

So the next adam last thing I want to talk about regarding product development and whether or not you're ready for wholesale is scale ability so you know I have this on the screen can you have a hundred pieces ready by next week and it's kind of joke but it's also not a joke you know, if anthropology for example everyone likes the anthropology I swear on all my scholarship applications what story do you want to be an anthropology it's a great store but if they called today and wondered two thousand pieces in two weeks could you deliver that that's that's a lot now if you are, you know if you've got processes in place if you're you know if you have your production really streamlined you could probably make that happen but if your hand making every individual piece if you are painting the scarves like our online audience or if you're you know, hand doing the jewelry or if your hand foreign candles or you know is if your screen printing at every single card yourself can you do you have sy...

stems in place to fill that type of order that kind of volume now not everybody when you jump in the wholesale is going to have those large volume porter's tio phil but the thing is you do need to have systems in place that you could handle that if it came through so yes so if you do have that in place, this is one thing that I worked in production for another big designer. And so I learned how to do that, and I just moved here from new york and set it all up. So I'm like said it, I have it all set up and just figuring out the other stuff. Great. Is that something that you would tell the buyer that you're you can handle a large orders? And how would you tell them that that's? Yes, absolutely. Tell them that that's a huge that sets you apart greatly from others in your line of you know, products because you can feel things. The same goes for last minute holiday type orders. I always tell my clients, let them know it's ready to go. I've got inventory here and it's ready to ship so I would include information about that in your catalog. I would include information in your marketing outreach to them really specifying, you know, this sets us apart. We were ready to rock and what role we can do high volume quickly. We can get it out too quickly, and that would really be tightened. Your turnaround times, which we will okay, so just mentioned high volume, miss possible, yeah, okay, yeah. So some of the things you need to consider for your specific product you know is it handmade? How much time does it take to create are you the only one that can make them or do you have other people that you can either outsource to or that you can bring in in house to help create them for you? What is your shipping process? You know, and that goes along with your timelines of do you have things when I talk about shipping process? I mean actually packaging the orders, packaging the product in itself and then getting the order's ready and are you as efficient as possible? I know I can do things is better so you know, there's always ways that we can improve here and so I just really want you to think hard about what your product is and how you're getting it out the door what are the systems? What are the processes and how can you improve upon them because you need to have that really like home did and here's the thing about that too you'll learn as you go on that like I can tell you get the streamlined get this worked out but really you're going to hit things as you start packing these orders you're going like, oh, you know what let's move that their change this and, you know it's going to increase your efficiency so you know, don't worry if you don't have that all locked in right now, but to focus on making it a priority. Um, ok, the other thing is it was kind of touched on a little bit is that inventory is expected when you're wholesaling. Um, I know it's a little bit different for some of these handmade custom pieces, but really, you do want tio it's expected that you're going to have inventory and that you are going to be able to ship things in a fairly reasonable quick fashion. You know, two to three weeks is typical for smaller companies. The larger companies are sending their wholesale orders and days, you know, two to three days we're not those guys, but it just gives you some perspective of what's expected shipping things faster is always better, but in your written terms and conditions, I always kind of recommend you give yourself a little bit extra wiggle room in case things go wrong or you do need to change things, but this is where having inventory comes in, you know, it makes things a lot easier because if the wholesale order comes in and you're creating the pieces, it's just a really compacted, inefficient. Line, you know, line of line of them steps to take is what I'm trying to say to get the order out the door. So you should plan as you're thinking about wholesales, can I maintain an inventory? And if so, what's a reasonable inventory for me, teo, to take on given finances and storage space and all off those things? Um, okay, I wanted to open it up. Tio questions. Do we have any questions from the online audience we dio okay, so time capsule ass. How is everyone finding wholesalers to sell to besides trade shows? That is a great question on we will talk about it more in depth, about building a mailing list and how to identify the right stores for you during our marketing to retailers course, but the short answer is it's a lot of research, it's a lot of just doing your homework, looking online, falling people on social media, seeing what other companies have looking at other makers that have similar products to you and seeing where they're carried is a really great way to take a first stab at, um, finding the appropriate stores. But here's, the thing you know, there's mailing list for retailers out there that you can buy there's lists listed on other makers, websites of where they're carried those are your lists, those aren't necessarily the right people for u s o you will still need to you know, if you see the name of the store, if you see somebody on social media that you think might be a rate that you still need to dive deeper into that and find out if they truly are good for your prada act and not everybody is and that's ok that's totally okay, you want to be selling tio people that understand your product or going to represent it well and sell it well in their stores, people that are really gonna be partners in your business and then they're a couple questions about, you know, when it's time to go home sale and a couple people asked, um, do you have to be a well established store or well established? Or willis? I was online to approach other stores. Okay, do you have to be well established? Do you have to be well established or a legitimate business? Um that's a good you approach due to approach right? I always recommend that people sell their own products wholesale for at least a good year. Well, no is the short answer, you don't have to be an established brand cause we all got to start somewhere, right? Like we don't go from nothingto here to zero overnight, so it's fine like, you know small companies all the time are going and talking to stores and that's what I'm encouraging you to do here but I do want to tell you that it is important to go through that process of selling your own products to stores you learn so much just meeting with the stores in person asking questions, hearing what questions they ask you so I think there's, you know, before you consider hiring a sales rep for bringing on somebody else into your business to handle the sales that something I think that you know you as the owner of the company or you as the moon maker really needs to be out on the forefront doing on dh I understand we all wear a lot of hats in these business you know we're doing the sales were doing the making we're handling marketing and accounting and all these things but the sales portion of that you shouldn't be afraid to go out and reach out to stores when your new it's just a matter of finding a way that's comfortable for you finding the right people to target so that you're you're not reaching the wrong peep because and that's deflating teo if you're if you're reaching out to somebody let's let's say you make scarves and you reach out to a store or you make t shirts and you reach out to store that has no apparel and like they're not the right fit for you so on and that can be deflating so you know that's where doing your homework and building that mailing list and trying to find the right targets is really, really important here's another question on yes or a couple more great one is um she wanted to know how you felt about trade shows versus wholesale websites sure so it's interesting this conversation has been coming a lot coming up a lot in several my circles I think wholesale websites our I think both are valuable first off but for very different reasons I think wholesale website if you have an online portal which we'll talk about a little bit later in the course it makes it easy for the buyers and really when you're selling wholesale, you want to make it as easy as possible for these buyers to buy, so having an online system through its you wholesale or shop of fire you know your own platform it lets him shop in the middle of the night or whenever they you know whenever they want to place that order so I think that's a really great way to do it. However it's different than trade shows trade shows treasures are a lot of work and they're very costly but there's not nothing beats the face to face time and when you go to a trade show you're able to meet with a lot of different accounts at one time over a course of a few days you know the other option in my opinion is going out to everybody to their own retail stores directly and that's not always possible on dh probably just is equally expensive so you know the trenches serve a lot of purpose and that you can write orders in one spot you could meet people that might be a good match for you on dh just the face to face time to you get a lot of feedback at these shows about your product line about and going back to katie when you asked about my mistake one of my mistakes was my pricing structure and I got comments from it at stationary show people say no too high too high and so I actually lowered my price the first day because I realized oh him too high you know and but had I had more time if I hadn't jumped into it with my whole body instead of just two feet you know I would have figured that out before I had done the show so tiffany I wanted to ask you a question because you did the station to show for the first time last year, right? Yes so you've done a trade show what were some of the benefits of being in person with those buyers? What kind of feedback to do here or what kind of benefits were there to networking in person um you get teo as some questions about like, oh, you know, what kind of people shot by your store is is like a college campus area or a lot of moms, and then kind of feet off of their reaction to make suggestions and also to kind of mm gauge what's missing in your line when they ask for things that that there's very helpful. Um, I I learned that, um, I need to double at least double my birthday selections, my birthday cards um, and at the trade show it was important tio also see what the whole industry is up to. Three point not to like copy or to, you know, follow directly, but to see where you fall in place and a lot of the face to face interactions beyond the trade show, like, with meeting with press on dh among peers, that's like, you can't get that anywhere else and in person, right? You brought up a really great point that I just want to reiterate the shows to really do tell you what's going on the market and what people are doing. I think, you know, most of us work in our own little silos, is in our own little studios and were connected through social media and these other avenues, but to see everybody else's product in person again, it's not for copying reasons or anything like that but it's more to see what the market's doing and what people are creating on dh you will notice trends you know people we'll walk around the shows the oh I'm seeing a lot of this or oh gosh, I'm over this or oh this was super cool you know? And so and then the other thing you mentioned which I think is worth repeating too is there's other value to doing shows besides just the sales factor there's the marketing, the press, the relationships you build for other business opportunities and partnerships as well. So I think going back to the initial question from online is that both are really great options to have an online shop that is facilitating wholesale orders as well as you know, trying to engage in some and it doesn't have to be a trade show maybe it's you know, an industry event like educational program or something but being in person with people in your industry and your customer you're wholesale customer is it's you know, people want to buy from people that they know and they like and they trust and so really wholesale it's about building these relationships with the stores that can order from you over and over again and and so it's really relationship focus so the more you in person time you can get one on one the better it is in my opinion was there any other? Yes there's one more that we wanted to get in this lesson can you tell us what the industry standard is for shipping product at wholesale shows? Do I pay the ship for the shipment? Do I pay for the shipment of my product as does the buyer? Great question. So the retailer the buyer will pay for the shipping on all wholesale orders and so if the order comes through treat so if it comes through your online portal, if it comes just a direct order through email or fax or something like that they they will pay for the shipping on that. Now you do want to kind of have some ballpark ideas and you want to have how do you ship these all being your terms and conditions? Do you use ups? Fedex, usps? Excuse me? Do you ship international these air things you are going to need to flush out and determine, but retailers are accustomed to paying for that shipping costs so typically when they send in their order, you'll just total it up for the merchandise and then you attack on the shipping fee right before you ship it. So the order comes in once you package the order and determine how much it weighs and what the best way to ship it is obviously, you know you really do want to be conscientious of the cost is involved and try to find reliable shipping methods that also don't break the bank. But, you know, ultimately, they will pay for the shipping costs. You add it to their invoice, you charge the card, and then you send the items you never, ever, ever want to ship in order without payment. If you agree to take checks, you want to make sure that that check clears. But the shipping costs are paid by the wholesale account that's placing the order.

Class Description

Expanding into retail sales after selling online is a huge transition, but you don’t have to make the leap alone!

Join Katie Hunt to learn about proven wholesale strategies that can add additional revenue to your business. You’ll learn:

  • How to determine if you are ready to wholesale 
  • Which sales tools every wholesale business must have 
  • How to set prices that work for both you and your retailers 
 In A Beginner's Guide to Wholesale Sales, Katie Hunt will show you how to expand your reach and expose your products to a whole new audience – when your business is ready for it.  


Katy Casey

AMAZING, amazing course and fabulous instructor. Katie knows so much and does a fantastic job sharing specific, actionable insight in this course and the entire bundle. I can already tell that it's a resource I'll reference again and again as I grow my product line and I'm so happy I invested the time in it.

Laura Bridges

Katie is a very straight-forward and encouraging teacher. I was fortunate to be in the studio audience for this group of classes and have learned so much! I have had some help from friends in the industry on setting up wholesaling, however I was missing a set structure and strategy to get it off the ground professionally and timely. She makes the steps very clear, with ideas and references on how to do it or outsource what you need done. Katie ads her own experience to all of these steps, which is so helpful to hear. If you want clear, specific, strategic steps to take next to develop your own successful wholesale business, these are the classes! Katie is awesome! Thank you!!

Danielle Jones

I've taken 14 pages of notes with great guidelines and best practices for pricing, SKUS, releases and more. I'm feeling much more confident knowing the standards after taking this course. Katie is amazing!